The department’s agreement with the Caribbean island country will allow more South African students to study medicine in Cuba.
This collaboration with Cuba forms part of the South Africangovernment’s drive to address the critical shortage of medical doctors in the country, particularly in the public health sector.
A blueprint for healthcare
The Cuban healthcare system is respected worldwide and is seen as a model for developing countries.
One of the main drawcards of Cuba’s approach is its achievements in primary healthcare and proactive disease prevention in a country with a large rural population.
In a recent interview with the Stanford School of Medicine, well known physician and author Paul Drain says although Cuba operates on a limited budget, the country has managed to provide its citizens with effective, affordable health services.
“Cuba has achieved developed world health outcomes on a developing world budget,” Drain says in the podcast.
Drain says that Cuba has one of the most active programmes in disease prevention in the world. The system offers prenatal care and its vaccination rates are some of the highest in the world – higher than in the US.
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